From my earliest memories, I've liked the intrigue of large cities. With my parents and siblings, we would make excursions from our home in southern Wisconsin to Chicago to visit some of its wonderful museums. Each time, I remember noticing the seemingly endless buildings as we approached our destination. I wondered what so many people in one area could be doing, and was fascinated by what I didn't know or understand. Since then, I have chosen to live away from dense, urban areas, but usually have been within a reasonable driving distance. For more than a couple decades, Philadelphia has been a short drive from where I live.
The city has a rich history in the United States. It was founded in the late 1600's by William Penn. It was the meeting place for the men who founded the country, and the city in which the Declaration of Independence was signed. Historical sites are numerous. The significance of the arts led to an alternate name of a major city street to Avenue of the Arts. Philadelphia is the home of several professional sports teams. The food and restaurant scene is vibrant.
I was introduced to a fascinating part of the city through an excursion with a photography group I recently joined. The site juts into the Delaware River, and has the concrete structure on which railcars loaded coal to water-going vessels. It's been abandoned for decades, and evolved to a site at which graffiti artists practice their art. It's become known as Graffiti Underground. I visited before dawn. The soft, early morning light created interesting shadows. Having never previously been to a place like it, I found it to be fascinating. The art is unusual. Interesting scenes came from the shapes and forms of the railroad structure. It was quiet and peaceful. It's in a fairly desolate location, so I was surprised when a young woman carrying a skateboard arrived about dawn. I enjoyed the exploration and know I'll return some day.